Perfect Grief

One day, when Henry was just under two-years old, someone gave him a yellow balloon. Despite the pains I took to tie it securely to his wrist, the inevitable happened.

I remember it was a perfect day: not a cloud in the sky, and just a tiny puff of wind. We watched the thing fly away for probably 10 minutes. If it hadn't been so sad, it would have been kinda cool to watch.

There it was -- right there -- floating along. No amount of wishing or crying would bring it back. I decided Henry was experiencing Perfect Grief.

Today, we took the kids to a beautiful park on the other side of the river. We hiked, played hide-and-seek, and skipped stones on the beach. It wasn't until we were back in the car that Jane asked where her turtle was.

Me: Uh...

Erin: Um...

Jane: Turtle, please!

Me: Uh...

Erin: Um....

It was just a tiny, plastic turtle someone gave her a few days ago. She normally doesn't attach to toys, but she had just spent the whole day carrying it around.

She cried the whole way home, and then again when we were home. She had many variations of "I left turtle on beach!", each one more heart breaking than the last.

Little does she know, tonight after she goes to sleep, Erin is going to sew her a small, stuffed replacement. I hope when she wakes up to her new friend, she feels a little better.

6 comments:

SharkBoy said...

How was the morning after???

Words Words said...

It's delayed by a morning. The Replacement Turtle has only a shell and a head right now. The sewing was side-tracked by a terrific bout of projectile vomit that managed to cover both Erin and me.

Babies are fun.

Words Words said...

But also, I should point out that Jane's grief was bolstered by the fact that every time she calmed herself down, Henry, in an effort to sympathize, would say something like, "He's probably at the bottom of the ocean now." Which would send her back to Crying Land.

He also helpfully pointed out (many hours later) that the "tide had probably gotten him by now."

Words Words said...

UPDATE: (look at me, I'm Live-Blogging!)

Jane found the limbless turtle and loves it despite its flaws. It is blue (by request), and is therefore named "Blurtle".

Erin also packed a bit of dried lavender into the stuffing, so Jane keeps sniffing it and saying, "smells good!"

Ruth Anne said...

Aren't brothers wonderful?! Henry reminds me of someone named Bill who could always be counted on for a cheery word at the worst possible moment! So glad the new pet has "taken" already. We all felt her pain.

Bojan said...

That's the sweetest story ever...